I often note in talks and presentations that, in the 1980s, I had a "thing" about action groups. For example, I co-founded the Fur Action Group with Paddy Broughton of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection and a couple of other people; the Edelson Action Group which focused on the Manchester furrier Michael Edelson - and the campaign for which the "fur pledge" was created, and the Hazleton Action Group, which focused on a laboratory in Harrogate, Yorkshire - part of the largest contract lab business in the world at the time. Hazleton Laboratories in now called Covance.
A prime mover in the Hazleton Action Group was Patsi Waite - she and a few other north Yorkshire activists were the backbone of the group. In 1984 we decided to organise a march and rally in Harrogate in opposition to the laboratory. At the time Richard Adams was known in the animal movement, at least for his work with the traditional animal welfare organisation, the RSPCA. He is most famous, of course, for his novel Watership Down, whereas I was more familiar with his anti-vivisection book, The Plague Dogs.
Both books were made into animated films in the 1980s. See below for the full Plague Dogs movie. Ironically, Watership Down was animated in Warren Street, London!
In the early 1980s, some British laboratories were not the fortresses they are now. Indeed, Hazleton at the time was surrounded by a small white picket fence, and there was even a public footpath running into the back of the complex from a housing estate. A number of "raids" did indeed occur at Hazleton laboratories, including daylight invasions (often by the Sheffied Hunt Sabs who became regular visitors). On one raid, the details of horrendous LD50 tests were discovered and they subsequently found their way into Robert Sharpe's anti-vivisection book, The Cruel Deception.
Patsi and I drove Adams down to the laboratory ahead of his appearance on regional TV about the march and rally (I recall that, although we had prepared a briefing document for his TV slot, he simply made things up when he was being interviewed).
The route down to the main entrance to the lab complex was down a side road. Patsi was driving, I was in the passenger seat, and Adams was sat in the back. We sat looking at the various buildings for a time. A very bored and generally untroubled security guard strolled up to Patsi's car and very politiely asked us our business.
Patsi was in mid-sentence when the rear window was wound down and Adams yelled, "tits and arses" at the guard. The guard recoiled and simply said, "what?" We decided to take our leave, turned around by the main gates, and left the guard scratching his head.
As I said, you probably will not find find that account in the Times or Guardian.